Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What Am I Doing Wrong?!

Every time I work on video I remember that I'm related to a professional videographer and can't help but wonder if he shakes his head sadly when he sees my beginner efforts. I was just going to share this on social media to get feedback from my dog training-savvy friends but I decided to share it here as well because, who knows, maybe fresh eyes will see something.

A few years ago Ed and I took a tricks class and one of the tricks we worked on was skateboarding. He, of course, did super well but it was a short class so we only got as far as getting him to move with the board, sometimes getting three feet on. Only a couple of times has he ever had 3 feet on the board and pushed off with the 4th, which is the goal. I'm pretty sure that the hang up we haven't gotten over is due to the way I'm working. Maybe where I'm putting the treat is confusing, maybe where my body is placed is giving him conflicting cues, maybe it's something else.

Last night I finally took a little video of us practicing and cut together the "useful" bits into what you see below. I reduced the volume on most of the sound because I'm not really talking to him (is that the problem?!) and there was ambient noise* in the apartment but I haven't replaced it with anything else. I'd be interested to hear what you see and think but, of course, positive reinforcement suggestions only, please.

*I was watching Hill Street Blues. It holds up over time, truly a great series. You should go back and watch a bit of it.


  1. He's SO cute! What a little peanut. I'm not a dog trainer so I'm just giving feedback from my untrained eye, but it seems like you're not going fast enough for him. Especially in the beginning of the video he had to slow down and turn back to get the treat. I'm impressed with how far you've gotten with him, though. I really should start teaching Daisy some tricks because she's so smart but I haven't quite gotten the momentum to actually get it done.

  2. Miflohny4:00 PM

    I have no idea how to train a dog. I'd say more space might help for this kind of trick.

    As for videomaking, it always helps to pay attention to audio. It is often given less attention than picture, but people actually are more willing to put up with bad pictures than bad audio. And continuous audio (not cut at the same place as the picture) helps disguise less than perfect cuts.

    When recording video, it also helps (if you know you are going to cut pictures together) to vary the angle of the shot, to give yourself more options when cutting - but be sure to hold each shot long enough to make it useful - generally longer than you think.

    I'd say you should follow the 180 degree rule when composing different shots, but that'd be getting a bit technical. You can always call me to discuss that :-)

    Also, MediaGuy would think your credits are perfect, but he reads faster than anyone I know :-)

    Good luck with your training and your videomaking. I'm sure you're making great progress with both, whether you realize it or not - practice helps in any endeavor.